Hype that ethanol results in deforestation appears to be debunked in a study supported by the U.S. Department of Energy and performed at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

In a presentation to the California Air Resources Board last month, the DOE reported that corn exports grew from 2002 to 2007 (by 50 percent) even as corn ethanol production in the U.S. increased at an average rate of 25 percent per year.

The DOE added that feedstock (primarily corn) for this growth in ethanol came mainly from domestic (and not international) reallocations and increased yields (up 6 percent). “Empirical evidence does not support significant effects on U.S. commodity exports or other crops or cropland expansion in the U.S.,” the DOE reported.

Read the complete article by Farm Industry News’ Lynn Grooms: Little to no indirect land use change has been caused by ethanol, DOE study finds.